Thursday, August 09, 2007
Back in early May, the US deported a man to Mexico. The only problem was that he was born in Los Angeles. Pedro Guzman is a developmentally delayed 29 year old who has gotten into a few scrapes with the law. Once was for drug usage, and the other was for tresspassing. Ticky tacky stuff, but during his last stay in prison he was deported to Mexico where he knew nobody.
He tried to cross back into the US several times, his family kept looking for him. He told them he was eating out of garbage cans to survive during his three month experience down south.
In the lawsuit, the family said he was asked about his immigration status in jail and responded that he was born in California.
Sometime after that, the Sheriff's Department identified him as a non-citizen, obtained his signature for voluntary removal from the United States and turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.
Guzman was picked up in Calexico after U.S. authorities, doing a background check, found there was a warrant for his arrest for failing to attend probation hearings related to the misdemeanor violation, said Mark Rosenbaum, ACLU legal director for Southern California.
The family said Guzman had previously done jail time for drug possession, so he had a record that could have been cross-checked before a deportation decision was made.
Immigration and sheriff's officials said they followed all the necessary protocol and have done nothing wrong.
That always gets to me. When do officials ever say we fucked up? Ever? Every time a person says they got railroaded, and even DNA clears them for the crime, your chances are good that the DA will say DNA lies this time, we weren't wrong. That is why they need their asses sued but good for this one.
There was a way to check his records to see that he was an American citizen by birth. They screwed up, and refuse to admit it. California is the land of ballot propositions. One I would love to see would state that the DA or police officers responsible for unlawfully imprisoning somebody would have to chip in as well. The arrogance these people show when they turn someone's life into a world of hurt just adds salt to the wounds.
I am sorry won't cut it. But it would be a good start.